A cheque for Rs 1,000 issued by Calcutta University to a PhD thesis examiner was allegedly forged or tampered with to withdraw close to Rs 10 lakh from the university’s account.
Police sources said on Wednesday that the cheque was deposited at a bank in Maharashtra and some officials of the university who had access to it before it was dispatched to the examiner, a resident of Patna, are on the suspect list.
“The university’s finance committee detected some irregularities and advised me to report the matter to the police. I have lodged an FIR,” CU registrar Basab Chowdhury said.
According to the complaint lodged with Jorasanko police station, the cheque was drawn on the CU branch of State Bank of India in favour of Mamata Das Sharma of Rajendranagar in Patna.
Though the original cheque was issued for Rs 1,000, a cheque with the same number (441057) was used to withdraw Rs 9,88,600 from a bank at Tarapur Industrial Estate in Maharashtra, said the sources.
It was, however, not clear whether the examiner had received the cheque at all. Police suspect that either the cheque had been forged and used to withdraw the money or the cheque was tampered with.
The withdrawal was detected earlier this month during update of CU’s accounts.
According to the university rule, a cheque is issued by the cash section and then sent to the central dispatch unit from where it is sent either by courier or speed post to the recipient.
A senior official of the university who did not wish to be named said: “Only a few employees have access to cheques before they reach the dispatch section. I wonder how somebody could have known the cheque number. Or else, it seems, the entire cheque was tampered with.”
Police sources said details of the cheque had been sought from the university.
Bail in molest case
Two youths arrested for allegedly molesting a third-year student at Jaipuria College were granted bail after the girl withdrew her complaint on Wednesday. The girl had earlier accused Dhiraj Sonkar, a former general secretary of the Trinamul-run students’ union at the college and his friend Dhiman Sarkar of molesting her in the college canteen.
A third-year student at a college in Bhadreshwar, Hooghly, died after he fell off a local train and his head hit an electric pole on Tuesday. Sujoy Kumar Das was on his way to Calcutta to attend a rally at Esplanade.